Quieter summer for Island lifeboats

LIFEBOAT launches across the Isle of Wight fell by more than a quarter this summer, compared to last year, according to figures released by the RNLI today (Monday).

There was a total of 57 lifeboat launches from the Isle of Wight’s RNLI stations in Bembridge, Yarmouth and Cowes, between June and August 2013, compared with 80 from the same three stations last year.

The large fall was not mirrored across the rest of the south east.

There was a total of 664 launches from the south east’s 23 stations, including those on the Island, compared with 686 launches in 2012, a drop of just 3.2 per cent.

The busiest station on the Isle of Wight was still Cowes, which had 21 launches in summer 2013. However, its launches have more than halved compared with 43 recorded last year.

Yarmouth had 20 launches, the same figure as it recorded in 2012 whilst Bembridge had 16 compared with 17 last year.

Andrew Ashton, RNLI regional operations manager, said: “Yet again, 2013 has been busy for our volunteer lifeboat crew members and our lifeguards. We had some really lovely sunny days this summer, temperatures in the 30s in some places, so it’s hardly surprising we were called out to so many incidents.

“Despite the small decrease in lifeboat activity in Hampshire, Sussex and Kent, overall for the RNLI it has been the busiest summer for 24 years with a total of 4,300 lifeboat launches.”